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Bringing BookBenches to the city and promoting reading for enjoyment

Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust have joined forces with Wild in Art to bring their iconic BookBench sculptures to Manchester. 

Schools and community groups across the city can get involved in the unique BookBench project, which will celebrate the city’s creativity and encourage children and adults to read for enjoyment. 

Schools decorate a BookBench with designs inspired by books, novels, comics, poems and prose. Once decorated, the benches will be displayed in cultural hubs, leisure and shopping centres throughout Manchester. Many of the venues will host activities and events, and families will be able to discover the BookBenches by following a trail.  

Reading for Enjoyment CPD

Enhancing and aligning with the creative process of decorating a BookBench, the Reading for Enjoyment training will enable teachers and support staff to:

  • engage with research and understand the benefits for pupils of reading for enjoyment
  • examine a range of approaches, including choosing and using a whole text
  • choose strategies for creating a community of readers in your schools
  • plan for embedding these successful approaches more widely across your school, evaluate the success of the strategies adopted and share learnings with colleagues

Schools will also be able to access resources around all areas through a year's membership of the National Literacy Trust Network.*

This is a full day with a follow-up twilight evaluation session. The two-part structure offers the opportunity to build collaborative relationships with local schools, which will endure beyond the timeframe of training.

We recommend that to be fully effective, two teachers including the literacy lead should participate. We also invite a head or senior leader from each school to accompany participants to the first session free of charge.

Dates: 7 February and 21 March or 8 February and 22 March

Packages available

There are two BookBench sculpture sizes:

  • Large BookBench: H 920mm x L 1450mm x W 700mm (seat height 460mm) Weight: 36kg   (suitable for 3 years old – adults)
  • Medium BookBench: H 700mm x L 950mm x W 500mm (seat height 350mm) Weight: 20kg (suitable for 3 – 11 years old) 

Paperback Package

Includes BookBench and Creative Education Resource Pack

  • Standard Medium BookBench, £995 + VAT 
  • Standard Large BookBench, £1,495 + VAT 

Hardback Package

Including Creative Education Resource Pack and Reading for Enjoyment training:

£ Total = cost of your BookBench(es) + £300 per participant + VAT 

Standalone Training

£300 per person* 

Schools that do the Paperback or Hardback package can also be mapped to the Arts Award and be used as part of an application for Artsmark status.

Booking is open until 3 February! Click here to purchase your package.

Back to Read Manchester home.

*All schools that are part of Read Manchester are members of the National Literacy Trust Network. Schools from outside Manchester are welcome to participate in training at a cost of £350 per person.

Purchase BookBenches and Training

Booking is now open to purchase BookBenches and attend the CPD sessions.

Book now
Find out more about the BookBench project

Download our leaflet with more information about the project.


The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.